Winter in the northern hemisphere is a season of shortened days and long nights, but after the solstice in December, the daylight changes shade and duration. This December, we hover on the edge of 2009, and in the United States of America, we stand before a uniquely historic inauguration of a new President. None of the articles in this issue directly address that particular imminent moment, but they do all address aspects of seasonal and non-seasonal changes. Derek Catsam argues for significant modifications in stadium and airport security if the U.S. government and its people are to be and feel more safe. Both Breanne Fahs and Paloma Ramirez take up the passage of Proposition 8 in California, and while Ramirez suggests that fear of change fails to recognize the rights of many, Fahs argues that real civil rights recognition requires a reframing of the entire question of marriage. Rosa Guzmán wonders about the fate of Mexico and whether the country verges on civil war. In the first of a series of columns reflecting on being Filipina in the U.S., Sheila Espineli fathoms the possible alterations to the profile of Filipinos in U.S. cultural life. Sara Moslener weighs the dramas of Orwellian adolescence in an evangelical high school when a girl has her first kiss. Reflecting on divorce, T. R. Kiyoshi Oshiro examines the mutable nature of relationships and permeability of time itself. Finally, Katy Scrogin demands people rethink the underlying concepts of the not-so-cute catchphrase, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
Individual authors may disagree with each other’s positions in this magazine—a dissonance that we believe is central to conversation in the public sphere. We invite you to read our queries of public life, and then to respond with your own thoughts.